Oct 6, 2016

What's New with Google?

If you've been hiding under a rock lately, you may have missed some of the changes that occurred with Google over the past 2 weeks.  Personally, I've been meaning to write this post for about a week, so I am a little late to the game myself.  But for those of you who haven't heard, I thought I would give you some insight into some of the changes going on with Google.

GAFE is now GSuite

The suite of tools offered by Google that we used to know as Google Apps for Education and Google for Work has been renamed GSuite.  This set of tools still includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites, as well as others, and is still accessible through Google Drive.  It just has a new name.  If you are new to GSuite (Formerly GAFE), check out this link.  Your District can access GSuite for free and use all these wonderful tools to go paperless.  You just need to sign up.  You can also find out about all the extra benefits you get from using Google For Education rather than a personal Google Account.


The Explore Tool Has Replaced the Research Tool

In a bit of a controversial move on Google's part, the Research Tool found in Docs and Slides has been replaced with the Explore tool.  The Explore tool was originally introduced as a Google Sheets feature, and can still be found there as a quick way to format Sheets and add Charts and Graphs.  However, according to many posts and comments on the internet, users are upset at the loss of the Citation Tool found in the Research Tool.  In spite of these concerns, the addition of the Explore Tool to Slides and Docs means that you'll gain some really cool design features. 

Here's what you get:

  • Sheets
    • I recently posted an article about many of the Explore features in Sheets.  Check it out here.  Here is the short list.
      • Ask questions about your Data
      • Format Sheets with alternating colors for each row of data
      • Learn about Formulas from your Data
      • Insert Charts and Graphs quickly
Source:  https://docs.googleblog.com/2016/09/ExploreinDocsSheetsSlides.html
  • Docs
    • Much like the original research tool, you can use explore to:
      • Gain insights about information in your doc.
      • Get suggestions for content to add to your doc.
        • Topics
        • Images
        • Research
Source:  https://docs.googleblog.com/2016/09/ExploreinDocsSheetsSlides.html
  • Slides
    • Add suggested Themes to slides quickly
    • Get suggestions for the layout of your content

Source:  https://docs.googleblog.com/2016/09/ExploreinDocsSheetsSlides.html

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't highlight some of the consumer additions that Google announced this week.  As part of their new family of tools, Google has added:

  • The Google Pixel Phone 
    • Google Assistant Built In
    • 12.3 MP Camera
    • Unlimited Storage - Photos and Videos
    • Ability to transfer files from your old phone directly
    • Pre-Orders will get a free Daydream View VR Headset
  • Google Home
    • Voice Activated Google Assistant
    • Google's Answer to Amazon's personal assistant technology
    • Voice Control of Smart Devices
  • Chromecast Ultra
    • Like the Chromecast, but allows streaming of 4K Ultra HD and HDR
  • Google WiFi
    • Whole-Home Coverage for Wifi